Series: The Rules of Scoundrels,
Published by Avon on 25 November 2014
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Social Issues
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Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, The Rogue Not Taken, A Scot in the Dark
Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1833)
First Line(s): “I love you.” Three strange words that held so much power.
Longtime readers of Sarah MacLean’s books will all remember Lady Georgiana Pearson from her appearance in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. She was a young mary sue of a girl who was the sister of a Duke and who was lured into a hayloft and ended up an unwed mother. To avoid an unwanted marriage she ran away and acted as one of the catalysts that led to her brother’s marriage and to Penelope’s ostrication which lead into the first Rules of Scoundrels book, A Rogue by Any Other Name. In Rogue, we meet Chase the elusive and mysterious partner in the Fallen Angel gaming hell and who played in instrumental role in the love stories of the 3 partners and its Chase’s story that has been coveted from the start. There was much speculation on who Chase was and it came as a surprise to many that Chase was Lady Georgiana all grown up. No longer meak but strong and a force to be reckoned with.
I was looking forward to Chase’s story from the start and when it was officially revealed to by Georgiana I was excited because from the moment she was introduced in Eleven Scandals wanted her to find her very own happily ever after. What I was a bit wary on with Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover was the hero of the story, Duncan West. West makes an appearance in the other books and I was never fully drawn to him. Although my thoughts on him may have been different if I’d been able to finish No Good Duke Goes Unpunished but as that one was a DNF I’m not sure what role he played in that story. I will also say that with Never Judge a Lady I struggled to get into the story. The prologue was just so-so and I thought there would have been more to Georgiana’s ruining based on the little snippets that we’d read before.
It wasn’t until around 25% or so that I became fully invested and unable to put the book down. I fell in love with the strong woman that Georgiana had become and I also fell in love with Duncan West. In Eleven Scandals, Georgiana was young and naive but she became this strong sassy woman and she needed someone equally strong to be her match. Anyone weaker than her in mental agility and power she’d walk all over and not be happy. She needed someone to challenge her, to complement her strengths, and to bolster up her weaknessness. Duncan was just as strong and powerful as she was and his backstory is heartbreaking and my heart just went out to this couple as they journeyed to their happily ever after. I found their story to be realistic and engaging and gave me all those heart-achy feels that I love. Their separation (for there is always a separation) broke my heart as I understood where both Georiana and Duncan were coming from, it made sense even as I wanted to shake them and beg them to defy convention and just take the leap.
I read the bulk of Never Judge a Lady in a single sitting and I hated when it ended. I loved the cameo appearance of Freddie Stanhope from The Season and I still really want him to meet his Petunia and get his own story. (I will never stop begging for this Sarah MacLean…so please just make it happen!) I also fell for a new character in this book, Viscount Langley and would love to read his story as told by MacLean. I know that the world of the Scoundrels is done but I do hope that with whatever series MacLean writes next that there will be little cameos and nods from these characters as they are all near and dear to my heart and I will miss them. Never Judge a Lady is a good end to a good series and its one that I think that all fans of MacLean will enjoy.